The Rhone (French: Rhône, IPA: [ʁon]; German: Rhone; Walliser German: Rotten; Italian: Rodano; Arpitan: Rôno; Occitan: Ròse) is one of the major rivers of Europe, rising in Switzerland and running from there through southeastern France. At Arles, near its mouth on the Mediterranean Sea, the river divides into two branches, known as the Great Rhone (French: Grand Rhône) and the Little Rhone (Petit Rhône). The resulting delta constitutes the Camargue region.
In French, the adjective derived from the river is rhodanien, as in le sillon rhodanien (literally "the furrow of the Rhone"), which is the name of the long, straight Saône and Rhone river valleys, a deep cleft running due south to the Mediterranean and separating the Alps from the Massif Central.
Avignon (French pronunciation: [a.viˈɲɔ̃] ; Occitan: Avinhon in classical norm or Avignoun in Mistralian norm) is a French commune in southeastern France in the départment of the Vaucluse bordered by the left bank of the Rhône river. Of the 94,787 inhabitants of the city (as of 1 January 2010), about 12,000 live in the ancient town centre surrounded by its medieval ramparts.
Often referred to as the "City of Popes" because of the presence of popes and antipopes from 1309 to 1423 during the Catholic schism, it is currently the largest city and capital of the département of Vaucluse. This is one of the few French cities to have preserved its ramparts. In addition, its historic centre, the palace of the popes, Rocher des Doms, and the bridge of Avignon are well-preserved. It was classified a World Heritage Site by UNESCO under the criteria I, II and IV.
As a showcase of arts and culture, the fame of its annual theatre festival, known as the Festival d'Avignon, has far exceeded the French borders.